Bombers paid $85 million for new stadium -- What about SK?

Blue Bombers to pay back loan from MB government
Reported by Patrick Book
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Winnipeg's new football stadium isn't costing taxpayers $200 million dollars so why is that the plan for Regina?

It's a question some are asking as the province continues to consider a funding request from the city asking for about $200 million just for the stadium.

A large part of the new stadium in Winnipeg is being paid for by the Blue Bombers football team but it will take a while. Over the next 40 years the team will pay back an $85 million loan from the Manitoba government.

While a similar funding model hasn't been explicitly discussed yet in Regina, deputy city manager Brent Sjoberg insists something like that could be possible here.

He cautions that the money has to start with the public sector.

"To flow through some level of government so there's some transparency and the community knows where that money is going," Sjoberg explained. "In some of those other cases that money has flowed through partners like the Blue Bombers."

He insists even in Winnipeg's case the province needed to make a commitment first.

"Even in the Winnipeg example, the province backstopped that project," Sjoberg said. "In our case, we're working with the Riders, they're a good partner."

On the government side, Ken Cheveldayoff is the minister in charge of the stadium file and he stresses there are still plenty of details to be ironed out.

"We're very impressed with a lot of the things Winnipeg has done both with their stadium and their funding model and we're looking at what if anything we can apply to what goes forward in Saskatchewan," he said.

Riders haven't been asked for any money yet because the city is still waiting on the province.

Rider team president and CEO Jim Hopson is open to looking at all the options.

"Clearly there are a lot of differences so we're aware of what those are," he said. "We think though that the solution here needs to be a Saskatchewan solution, one that works for our province and our team."

Hopson also says the team's shaky financial history has to be kept in mind when considering the future.

Edited by News Talk Radio's Adriana Christianson